Busy lifestyles pose a challenge to vigilant dental care. Between rushing to destinations, squeezing in meals, and completing “To Do” lists, cavities can develop. Fortunately, there are means to protect your teeth as you go about your day.

Here we share unique ways to avoid dental decay.

1. Cheese

We’re told to say “Cheese!” when smiling into a camera. Eating cheese will also reveal pearly whites. Research shows that a protein in cheese protects against cavities. In addition, calcium levels rise after eating cheese.

Since our teeth are composed of calcium, cheese helps re-mineralize teeth and prevent cavities.

2. Tea

Tea is a natural source of fluoride, which helps protect enamel. Both green and black tea contain fluoride. However, green tea has twice the amount of black. About 50 percent of ingested fluoride is deposited in teeth and bones.

Tea also reduces plaque build-up and suppresses bacterial levels. To get the most benefit from tea, brew it up fresh and omit the sugar.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is the golden spice present in mustard and curry. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that destroy bacteria and promote healthy gums. Turmeric is stocked in the spice section of supermarkets. Use it to flavor and color scrambled eggs, tofu, vegetables, and rice.

4. Sugar Free Candy

Candy containing xylitol has a tooth-protecting effect. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol sourced from corn and birch trees. The FDA confirms that xylitol does not promote cavities. Rather, it inhibits the bacterial activity that erodes enamel. Bacteria feed on sugar but cannot digest xylitol.

This “starvation effect” prevents bacteria from thriving and multiplying.

5. Gum

The American Dental Association reports that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps prevent tooth decay. The process of chewing gum increases salivary production. Saliva:

  • washes away food and other oral debris
  • neutralizes bacterial acids
  • exposes teeth to calcium and phosphate, strengthening enamel

Note that the gum must be sugarless to be tooth-protecting. Bacteria that feed on sugar produce decay-causing acids. To ensure a gum brand is sugarless, look for the ADA seal on packaging. Gum with xylitol listed on the label as the first ingredient is ideal.

6. Straws

Using a straw minimizes the exposure of teeth to sugars and acids.

7. Apples

An apple a day prevents tooth decay. The tooth-protecting qualities of apples are twofold. Chewing stimulates salivary production. An apple also acts like a toothbrush, brushing away food particles and stimulating gums.

Keep up with Basic Dental Care

Along with seven unique ways to prevent cavities that were listed above it is also important that you keep up with the fundamentals. According to Dr. David K. Skeels, the best way to prevent cavities is to continuing brushing and flossing your teeth.

He also suggests that you maintain a healthy diet and schedule your next dental appointment.

Practice Cavity Prevention

Do your best to care for your teeth, and they’ll take good care of you. Try to practice the cavity prevention strategies above. Place yourself in the competent hands of trusted dental professionals. Superb dental health can be yours with the help of your superheroes.